Mercury-Containing Light Bulbs (Lamps): Laws, Regulations and Guidance
Types of Universal Waste
Laws and Regulations
- 1999 regulation that added mercury-containing bulbs as a new category under the universal waste regulations. When EPA first proposed to regulate universal wastes, EPA did not propose to include spent fluorescent lamps because further investigation was necessary. However, EPA requested comment on several questions related to fluorescent lamps (58 FR 8110).
Learn more about...
- The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
- Regulation of hazardous wastes under RCRA
- Regulation under RCRA of universal wastes widely-generated hazardous wastes that include not only fluorescent and other mercury-containing bulbs, but also batteries, pesticides, and mercury-containing thermostats, switches and pressure gauges
Fact Sheets and Guidance
You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPAs PDF page to learn more.
- Fluorescent Lamp Recycling (February 2009; EPA530-R-09-001; PDF) (30 pp, 234K) Information for businesses interested in recycling their spent mercury-containing lamps.
- RCRA Orientation Manual
- RCRA Online Database. To help regions, states, and the regulated community understand and implement federal regulations, EPA provides regulatory guidance in the form of official policy statements and clarification memorandums. The RCRA Online database is a compilation of these documents and enables users to locate guidance covering a wide range of RCRA issues and topics. View RCRA Online documents related to mercury-containing lamps below:
- 07/01/2004 Contractors as Cogenerators of Universal Waste Lamps (PDF) (1 pg, 33K)
- 04/12/1999 Reclamation of Fluorescent Lamps (PDF) (7 pp, 51K)
- 06/22/1995 Determination on Whether a Generators Fluorescent Tubes are Nonhazardous (PDF) (2 pp, 33K)
- RCRA training modules also provide an overview of a specific regulatory topic. These modules are useful resources for people wishing to gain a general understanding of RCRA, but they are not comprehensive sources of regulatory information. Download the RCRA Training Module: Introduction to Universal Waste (PDF) (14 pp, 63K).